Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Times Editor Who Died Of Heart Attack Bragging After Third COVID Shot

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Times Editor Who Died Of Heart Attack Bragging After Third COVID Shot Not Tejada

Does a video show New York Times editor Carlos Tejada, who died of a heart attack in December 2021, bragging after getting his COVID-19 booster? No, that's not true: The man in the video is a Canadian comedian named Stewart Reynolds. The video has been edited into an anti-vaccination clip that is circulating widely on social media and is being attributed to Tejada.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by The True Defender on January 10, 2022, under the title "NYT Editor Dies Of Heart Attack After Bragging About The Booster." It opens:

Carlos Tejada was an editor for the New York Times, who played along with the Dems and posted a video about him bragging on getting the COVID 3rd booster shot.

But within 24 hours of receiving the booster and publishing the video online, Tejada died from a heart attack. This was also confirmed by his own wife, who posted about the death and the reason on social media.

This is how the article looked on The True Defender website on January 14, 2022:

true defender.png

(Source: The True Defender screenshot taken on Thu Jan 13 16:02:48 2021 UTC)

Tejada, the deputy Asia editor of The New York Times, died on December 17, 2021. His wife, Nora Tejada, said the cause was a heart attack. The video in The True Defender article attributed to Tejada was created and posted by Stewart Reynolds, a comedian from Canada. Here's an edited version of the video posted on January 8, 2022 (archived here), with screenshots of tweets from Tejada's Twitter account included at the end:

This is the original post by Reynolds as it appeared on Twitter (archived here) on December 17, 2021:

Reynolds addressed the false claims in a tweet (archived here) on January 10, 2022:

In a January 13, 2022, email to Lead Stories, a spokesperson for The New York Times confirmed the details surrounding Tejada's death:

Mr. Tejada received a booster shot on Dec. 17 in Seoul, the same day as his death by aortic dissection (heart attack).

According to medical professionals, there is no known connection between the two. Claims circulating online that would suggest a connection are inaccurate and misleading.

The New York Times provided a photo of Tejada:

Carlos_Tejada1-796 (1) Cropped.jpg

(Source: New York Times)

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a writer and fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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